A Brief History of Amritsar City – From its Origins to Modern Times


Amritsar, a vibrant city in the northwestern part of India, holds a rich historical legacy that dates back centuries. Nestled in the fertile plains of Punjab, Amritsar is renowned for its spiritual significance, cultural heritage, and contributions to Indian history. Let’s embark on a journey through time to explore the captivating history of Amritsar city.

Ancient Origins:

The history of Amritsar can be traced back to ancient times, when it was known as “Ramdaspur.” The city’s foundations were laid in 1577 by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru of the Sikh religion. The name “Amritsar” originates from the sacred pool (Sarovar) surrounding the Golden Temple, which means “pool of nectar.” This pool was excavated by Guru Ram Das and holds great importance for the Sikh community.

Golden Temple and Sikh Legacy:

One of the most iconic landmarks of Amritsar is the Golden Temple, also called Harmandir Sahib. Constructed in the 16th century, this magnificent shrine became the heart of Sikhism. Its gilded dome and serene surroundings attract millions of visitors annually. The temple stands as a symbol of inclusivity, equality, and spiritual unity.

British Colonial Period:

During the British colonial era, Amritsar played a pivotal role in shaping India’s history. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 stands as a tragic episode. British troops opened fire on a peaceful gathering in Jallianwala Bagh, leading to numerous casualties. This event fueled India’s struggle for independence and galvanized the nation against colonial oppression.

Partition and Aftermath:

The year 1947 marked a significant turning point in Amritsar’s history due to the partition of India. The city witnessed mass migrations and communal tensions during this period. The division of Punjab resulted in the relocation of many families and the creation of the Wagah Border, a significant crossing point between India and Pakistan.


In modern times, Amritsar continues to thrive as a dynamic city. Its cultural diversity is evident in its cuisine, festivals, and traditions. The city’s economy has expanded to include trade, agriculture, and tourism, attracting visitors from across the globe to experience its historical and spiritual treasures.


Amritsar’s history is a tapestry woven with threads of spirituality, struggle, and resilience. From its humble origins as Ramdaspur to its present-day prominence as a thriving city, Amritsar’s journey is an inspiration. The Golden Temple remains a beacon of spiritual enlightenment, welcoming people of all backgrounds. As we delve into the annals of Amritsar’s history, we are reminded of its enduring significance in India’s cultural and historical landscape.

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